Gyagom Legpa Gyaltsen was born in a Dragon year in the Shang valley, not far from the birth place of Khedrub Khyungpo Naljor. His father, Önpo Tashi Gön and mother, Deleg Budren, belonged to the Dong clan and named him Dzambhala. Even though he was still very young, he learned to read and write very quickly. He also studied medicine and diagnosis without any difficulties. From his paternal uncle he received many Dharma teachings. He took the refuge vows with Drubchen Namkha Gyaltsen, during which he received the name Legpa Gyaltsen (Lekgyalwa). From his refuge lama he also received the complete Shangpa Kagyu transmissions. Upon receiving the empowerment for the Deities of the Five Tantra Classes, he was given the secret name of Mikyö Dorje. He also received the entire Kalachakra transmission. From Chöje Senge Zangpo he received the teachings of the Kadampas, and from Dorje Gyaltsen, once again, the entire transmission of the Shangpa teachings. In particular he received the entire transmission of the teachings and practices of the wisdom dakini Niguma in the Nyangme Samding lineage, as well as from the Jagpa lineage, which came down through Jagpa Gyaltsen Bum, Jagchen Jampa Pal and Lodrö Kunga Pal.
Lekgyalwa established various hermitages, among them several in the Shang area. Despite having brought the practices of Illusory Body, Dream Yoga and Clear Light to full fruition, he preferred to keep his accomplishments secret and led the life of a hidden yogi. Once, when he bestowed the great empowerment for the practice of Illusory Body upon students, the inner offering in his small kapala became inexhaustible. Lekgyalwa’s main disciple and the one whom he appointed as holder of the Shangpa lineage, was Jetsun Kunga Drolchok. When Lekgyalwa peacefully passed away, many relics were discovered amongst his precious remains. They were enshrined at Chölung Yangtse.